Yet another carmaker announced British job cuts yesterday, with Honda set to close its Swindon plant in 2021. There is some disagreement on whether Brexit is to blame but, if it isn’t, long is the list of companies withdrawing investment from the UK in the past couple of years. There is a feeling that more will follow suit in the near future, particularly if Theresa May refuses to rule out a no-deal Brexit with just 37 days to go.
British wages grew by 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018, which was below expectations of 3.5% but still better than the current rate of inflation. Unemployment held steady at 4%, which is a four-decade low. Michael Gove confirmed that the UK will apply food tariffs in case of a no-deal Brexit in a bid to protect UK farmers.
The only economic data release of note from the UK today is the Confederation of British Industry’s industrial trends orders for February. The figure is expected to worsen to -3 this month from -1 the previous month. Tomorrow, we will see January’s public sector net borrowing figures.